Cyclone Nilam has so far claimed lives of eight people in Tamil Nadu and three in Andhra Pradesh. The devastating storm swept across north Tamil Nadu coast near Mahabalipuram.
Heavy rains all through the night due to the depression had thrown life out of gear in the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Continuous rainfall has already caused flooding in several parts of the district as people brace for the storm that is likely to cause extensive damage by destroying standing crops and temporary housing settlements.
Chennai recorded the maximum speed of cyclone 75 km per hour during the time of the landfall on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the cyclone also pushed the Prathiba Kavery ship from Mumbai [ Images ] to the shore near Elliots Beach. Seventeen people were rescued from the ship.
Authorities said that six people were missing and two were dead. More than 200 electric posts were destroyed when the cyclone hit the land in various places.
S R Ramanan, director, cyclone warning centre of the Indian meteorological department, Chennai, said that the Cyclone Nilam is expected to decline slowly.
Authorities had deployed relief and rescue teams across the country's southern states to combat the destruction expected from the storm.
"The cyclone Nilam started crossing near Mahabalipuram at 4.30 pm. Now it is expected to move in the west direction. Because of its movement in the land it is likely to weaken gradually. The rainfall itself may shift northwards," said Ramanan.
Strong winds measuring above 50 km/hour could be seen tilting trees of palm and coconut planted along side the coast and residential areas.
Image: Women shield their faces during strong winds at Marina beach in Chennai